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Neotectonics of the northern Mojave Desert

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Photographs of newly discovered fault scarps

Finding faults: These photographs illustrate examples of recently discovered scarps associated with earthquake faults in the Mojave Desert region. Geologists use a combination of models and intuition base of experience to locate and map faults, both in the field and working with aerial photography and other imagery. Once a fault is located it must be closely examined to evaluate how and when it formed, where it extends, and its relationship to the bedrock and other faults and active tectonic features in the region. The study of fault systems help unravel the geologic history of a region. The more information that can be resolved about a fault, the better the understanding for it's earthquake hazard potential in the region. The study of fault systems is also an essential component of understanding groundwater flow and subsurface groundwater basin configurations, geothermal potential, and more.
graphic provided by Kevin Schmidt

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